USA “Democracy” and Violence

Last night, on January 6, 2021, I was listening to congress talk about how today’s Capitol Hill “riot mob” was an assault on USA’s democracy and that USA was founded on democracy and not violence.

Say what?

USA was founded on violence.

Indigenous genocide. Enslavement of Africans.

This violence created a “democracy” for landowning white men who were basically considered the “humans” in which this democracy was applicable. The land they “owned” was stolen via the genocide and colonization of indigenous peoples.

Enslaved Africans were legally counted as 3/5 human in terms of representation in Congress.

In addition, due to scientific racism, didn’t actually count as fully human and of course could not vote in this democracy. They suffered in this “democracy” and land of liberty. It was several centuries of insufferable hell (and still continues for many).

Indigenous people didn’t count as human either in this democracy. They couldn’t vote. It was several centuries of insufferable hell (and still continues for many).

Only white men could vote and these white men in power made it clear that there would be even more “violence” if anyone but them wanted to be treated equitably in this new democracy. The violence I saw at the Capitol was the predictable outcome of a nation built on this type of “democracy”.

So, I think the USA news outlets need to start talking about this instead of pretending that there is some “new” assault on democracy and that “violence” is not synonymous with the foundation of US Democracy, several centuries ago. Let’s start naming harm that has been caused by this sordid historical foundation of US “democracy”. #democracy#colonization#violence

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a leading expert on diversity, equity, and inclusion having spent 15 years as a speaker and author focusing on anti-racism. Dr. Harper is a guest expert on an anti-racism podcast collaboration with Radical Candor author Kim Scott, and her most recent book, Scars, looks at how anti-racism and white allyship operate in multi-racial relationships. Breeze has a Ph.D. in the social sciences from U.C. Davis, an M.A. from Harvard, and a B.A. from Dartmouth.

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